We moved from a 1,200 sq ft apartment (with attached garage) into a less-than 240 sq ft motorhome (with pull-behind utility trailer).
Yet we don’t feel cramped. It hasn’t been a sacrifice. This is not a temporary situation required for our current adventure.
Our RV is our home. It feels homey to us, comfortable. We feel safe and cozy here.
When inside, we are surrounded by things that we love, that remind us of good times and fond memories.
Outside, we are proud of our house, glad to call it ours, and are comforted by its presence.
While running errands or off hiking on a trail somewhere we say things like, “ready to go home?” and mean it. They aren’t just a turn of phrase.
How much space do we need?
We paid attention to how much space we actually used in our apartment, and how much of it was little more than storage. Our usage patterns were the same in everywhere we had lived.
Our bedroom is for sleep and clothing storage. The bulk of our time is spent in the living room. Our kitchen and dining area see the rest. When the weather is nice we head outside, enjoying a patio or deck. A garage space is handy for working on occasional projects and storing tools.
The RV came with all of those spaces, just in smaller, more condensed packages. A bedroom with built-in clothing storage, a couch (living room) and booth (dining area) plus kitchen. We also have bonus room above the “car” cab with an extra sleep space, more storage and shelves (library). A pass-through storage compartment outside replaced the garage’s storage and our parking places combined with our utility trailer serve as a work-space.
A packrat, I had to get rid of a lot of things – paring down a collection that took me, literally, a lifetime to build. Some items (tools and books) took up residence in family’s storage areas (thank you!). They will come in handy for future projects, like building our next home, but aren’t necessary on this journey. Much was donated, sold or thrown away.
Collections of items that were kept as mementos were winnowed down to a single item to prompt the memory or captured in photographs. One thing reminds as well as a dozen. Seeing a picture of the reminder brings the memory back as well as the item itself did.
My life is not lessened for those things I am no longer holding on to. It was hard to let go, and I could not have done it without Ashley’s support, a tight time-frame, and a space limitation. Most of them I don’t miss, or even realize are gone – they are out of recollection already. The few things that I do miss have been tools or materials for a specific project (and are generally things that I have saved in storage). In fact, I still have too much stuff. More than a year into our adventure and we are carrying around items that have not been used yet.
Ashley is not a compulsive saver. If anything, she discards too easily. Occasionally she has been glad that I saved something. Between us we strike a good balance – I see the potential in items while she tries to ensure I don’t save too much.
When we bought it our RV looked just like everyone else’s from the same timeframe. After debating we decided to remodel and make it our own. How glad we are!
Our RV feels like home because it is ours. While we visually updated the inside and made some changes to make it more functional we were ultimately molding it to our tastes. New flooring, painted walls and cabinets, reupholstering the seating, swapping out blinds for curtains, and replacing the couch with a window-seat. All of these changed the feel of the inside and let us add our personal touch.
We are familiar with the systems and bones of our home because we’ve worked with them all, in some fashion. I learned the floorplan by crawling all over it and copying it with wood flooring. Ashley knows the cabinets from applying 3 coats of paint over all of them. While there is still plenty to learn we are more than familiar with our home, inside and out.
Home Sweet Home
A friend recently asked if we were still comfortable, if it was a home and not just a vehicle. Resoundingly yes!
We love our RV! It is definitely our home. We would live here even if we couldn’t travel around. What more could we ask for?